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CM Shinde to revive Bullet Train, other projects worth Rs20K cr

Mumbai: With support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the new Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led government in Maharashtra will rejuvenate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project, the High Speed Bullet Train Project, among others. It will work in tandem with the Union government and the state of Gujarat, to breathe life into the project that was shelved by the former CM Uddhav Thackeray’s Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance.

A person privy to the development told First India, “Despite the MVA government’s decision to stall the bullet train project, work moved at a fast pace. Over 95% of the land acquisition process has been completed for the project. This was accomplished by the Centre’s strategy to offer higher rates to project affected persons (PAPs) for their land. The MVA had backed off from the project that will ensure high speed connectivity not only between Mumbai and Ahmedabad but, New Delhi as well,” he added.

A senior secretariat official told First India, “Whatever has happened till date and, will happen going forward, is essentially a review. One form of review taking is a look at all proposals. The other review is a stock-taking exercise of the existing situation to figure out how much money has (already) been spent and how much more will be required.”

The Bullet Train project is being financed by the Japanese government at a nominal interest rate of 0.01%. The plan to build high-speed trains connecting Gujarat and Maharashtra (and subsequently New Delhi) was put on the back burner by the Sena.

Bhushan Gagrani, Secretary, Urban Development Department, told First India, “The (Bullet Train) project is not supervised by me but Ashiskumar Singh. My only (associated) tasks were to change one reservation at Vikhroli and provide an alternate location to the BPCL petrol pump at BKC. Both (tasks) have been completed.”

Similar to the Bullet Train project, four other projects were also affected by change in government. They comprised three components of the comprehensive Metro Rail project proposed in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). These included the Rs2,100 crore Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) proposed for Nashik to span a length of 160 km. The project proposal was at a final stage and set to be submitted to the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA) for final approvals back in 2019, when they were shelved.

Line 10 of the Metro Project in the MMR region, the Rs4, 476 crore stretch between Thane and Mira Road, Line 11 worth Rs8, 739 crore between Wadala and Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Line 12 of Rs5,865 crore between Taloja and Kalyan had also effectively come under review.

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